Disabled Veterans May Qualify for Larger Disability Ratings
The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims issued an opinion in a recent case Sharp v. Shulkin, (No.16-1385) that could make it easier for veterans with injuries to the back, neck and joints to obtain higher disability ratings. Even in cases where veterans are already receiving disability benefits for such injuries. This case reviewed the Department of Veterans Affairs’ existing system for evaluating the origin and extent of a veteran’s disability and clarified the responsibilities of Compensation and Pension (C&P) examiners and the Board of Veterans Appeals when giving an opinion on pain flare-ups caused by musculoskeletal disabilities. The court ultimately ruled the system was inadequate, because not all C&P examiners consider flare-ups and pain when determining what disability rating a veteran should receive.